QB Finley returning in 2017 for final season with Wolfpack

The graduate student ranked 10th among Power 5 quarterbacks in 2017 with 3,518 passing yards and a .651 completion percentage

Ryan Finley drops back to pass during NC State's season opener against South Carolina last September (Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports)

NC State’s win against Arizona State in the Sun Bowl put an exclamation point on a successful 2017 season. Saturday, the Wolfpack got 2018 off to a flying start with news that quarterback Ryan Finley will return for his final season of college eligibility.

Finley, who earned his undergraduate degree at Boise State before transferring to State in 2016, was projected as a possible early round pick had he decided to enter the NFL Draft. Instead, he chose to put his professional career on hold for one more season while he attempts to lead the Wolfpack to even greater success than the 9-4 record it achieved last year.

“I’m looking forward to building on the success we had this season,” Finley said in a statement issued from his home in Arizona. “My goal when I came to NC State was to win an ACC championship and with so many starters returning on offense next season, I feel that we could achieve that.

“I love Raleigh and the special brotherhood that we have on this team. I will be proud to finish what we’ve started, earn a master’s degree from NC State and play another season in front of the greatest fans in the nation.”

Finley ranked 10th among Power 5 quarterbacks in 2017 with 3,518 passing yards and a .651 completion percentage on his way to being named a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist and a third-team All-ACC selection. His streak of 339 straight passes without an interception is the second-longest in conference history.

The 6-foot-5, 185-pound graduate student is currently fifth in school history with 6,577 career passing yards in his two seasons at State and his career completion rate of .630 is second behind only Philip Rivers.

“I’m proud of Ryan for how he’s handled this process,” State coach Dave Doeren said. “I’m excited to watch him finish his career as one of the top quarterbacks in the country and take his place in the long line of great quarterbacks who played for NC State.”